Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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That Dog

  • Totally Crushed Out! [DGC, 1995] A-
  • Retreat from the Sun [DGC, 1997] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Totally Crushed Out! [DGC, 1995]
Biz babies who get too much shade for it, they come through with a sublime, honest little mock-concept album about teen love among the psychologically nondisabled. Their simple noise-pop tunes are actually melodic, their ugly-pretty contrasts actually generate tension, their sophisticated harmonies actually massage one's ears. And "He's Kissing Christian" is the best triangle song since "When You Were Mine." A-

Retreat from the Sun [DGC, 1997]
For a pop adept, Anna Waronker skimps on the surefire. On no more than half does the chorus come around and grab the ring; on no more than a couple does the verse leave you waiting for the chorus to make its move. But I think that's because she realizes that we're so inured to tunefulness that the surefire backfires. Waronker's deep hooks are a flatly winsome voice, an unsentimental guitar, and a flirty adventurism that promises loving sex without offering much hope she'll be there six months from now--even if she's indulging one of her domestic fantasies at your expense. A-